To paraphrase a well-known movie/book, conferences are like a box of chocolates – you don’t know what you’ll get until you try one. Or something like that. The Jobg8 Summit last week in Nashville was a nice mix of old and new faces, networking, and provocative sessions. I thought I knew what I’d get (since I had put most of the agenda together) – but I still had a few (pleasant) surprises. Perhaps the best part of any conference are the conversations that are sparked by smart people tackling tough problems. Here are a few observations:
- Matt Charney’s rapid fire presentation (including almost subliminal images of Drake) dropped some big news – ‘Facebook’s plan is to build the matching AI + a firehose of jobs globally + direct ATS integration / one click apply.’ And yet, Matt’s killer recruiting apps were: the telephone, your network, in-person connections, and pride in your value as a recruiter. Lots of Twitter and real-life chatter on his talk!
- Chris Adams talked about some possible effects of the loss of net neutrality here in the U.S. (and perhaps elsewhere? who knows!). But one factoid he dropped that really stuck with me: ‘53% of people abandon sites if they take more than 3 seconds to load.’ Remember that next time you are thinking about loading up content pages with unnecessary stuff – you may be running the risk of losing half your audience.
- Gerry Crispin’s employer panel included heavyweights from Amazon, Spectrum (Charter Communications), T.Rowe Price, and Kimberly-Clark. Not surprisingly, there was a consensus that these HR execs wanted more innovation from their vendors – and also data transparency. Interestingly enough, although there was plenty of talk about automation, there was also a focus on face-to-face interactions with candidates. Which, IMO, is smart.
- Melissa Miller talked about Uber’s hiring model – which is deeply entrenched in volume driven by job board advertising. Not surprisingly, when you’re hiring thousands of people every month, you do lots of data analysis – and Uber’s data show a candidate focus on flexibility: flexible hours, flexible locations, even flexible job titles.
- Jackye Clayton talked about how technology offers us the possibility of ‘hyper-personalization’ in dealing with candidates. In other words, really using what we either know or can infer about the candidate to improve their experience – and improve our bottom line. As she pointed out, job boards know a lot about the candidates visiting their sites – but how often do they actually use that knowledge to provide a personal experience? Well said.
- Randy Moore got into the weeds of building a UI that actually makes sense to the user – and how his company used AI to extend and enhance their software’s recruiting functions. Having spent some time in software companies, I found the discussion of how they got from idea to product very interesting.
- Dan Roddy of Deloitte gave us one vision of how blockchain could change recruiting. By walking the audience through the hiring cycle from candidate, employer, and job board perspectives, he did the best job I’ve yet heard of how blockchain recruiting could actually happen. Away from the podium, he was a regular networking machine. I suspect we’ll hear more from him soon.
- The AI Panel, moderated by yours truly, dove into the ‘reality vs. hype’ of AI and recruiting. Although the panel – Somen Mondal of Ideal, Ryan Bush of TextRecruit, Cole Geoppinger of Entelo, and Randy Moore of PocketRecruiter – came at AI from different perspectives, many of their responses seemed to match up, as when they all agreed that AI would not eliminate recruiting.
- Lee Biggins of CV Library focused on the many ways we can monetize our resume databases – a revenue stream that I think is often overlooked. As Lee pointed out, ‘Indeed isn’t promoting its job postings at present – it’s promoting its resume database.’ Nicely said.
Couple the above with hundreds of meetings in the networking room and (of course) the inevitable social hour, and a good time was had by all. The location in downtown Nashville was nice – although we seemed to be surrounded by building cranes and drunken tourists on all sides. Can’t wait till next year![Want to get Job Board Doctor posts via email? Subscribe here.]